Time to fix shingle hut

By Charlotte Wooldridge | posted on June 5, 2020

EFFORTS are currently underway to preserve a part of Denmark’s rich history in the form of a shingle hut which dates back over 100 years.

The hut belonged to Bert Saw, a pioneering farmer from Bow Bridge, who arrived in the Denmark area in 1907.

The Denmark Historical Society’s Bev McGuinness said Mr Saw was a well-known character around town during that time.

“His claim to fame is that he took a lot of photos, and the historical society actually had an exhibition in January of his pictures because it was 50 years since he was killed in a car accident,” she said.

While Mr Saw’s memory remains a vivid part of Denmark’s history, the shingle hut he built 112 years ago needs some work.

City of Albany Senior Town Planner Cindy Simpson said she immediately thought of the hut when shingles were being removed from the old Albany hospital.

“I used to work at the Shire of Denmark and when I worked there we did the review of the local heritage survey, so I knew that the Bert Saw house needed new shingles,” she said.

“At the time when we were working on all our heritage places, there were concerns about the maintenance of [the hut] in order to protect it.”

Since moving jobs to the City of Albany, Ms Simpson kept Bert Saw’s hut in the back of her mind.

“Now I’m working at the City of Albany I’m again involved in the review of the local heritage survey so I manage our heritage portfolio, so when they were replacing the roof at the old Albany hospital and they put an expression of interest to artists or anyone who would like to make use of the shingles from the roof I thought of Bert Saw,” she said.

Ms Simpson said the importance of maintaining these historical places in our region is invaluable and encourages people to learn more about the stories in our landscape.

“It tells a story of the history of early settlement,” she said.

“Protecting our heritage is not only part of the story of the development of the district, but it also is what makes a place.

“It creates a richness in history and heritage and adds texture to your local community and place that you won’t otherwise have.

“That’s why I think protecting our heritage is very important.”